Sunday, March 9, 2014

Trusting the Process

I've been reflecting on a couple of "fake" readers in class lately. I've met with them a little more closely, talked about book choice, given them a few suggested texts to preview and try out, and have shrunk back for a few days to see what they might do.  I'll monitor and check back in about a week to see how they are doing.  

I've also been taking a bit of a closer look at some of the books my students have been reading.  It's hard for me when a couple of my students always choose the Wimpy Kid books for independent reading time, but I've always truly felt that if students are genuinely reading, and are motivated by those texts, then they are still reading, so I tend not to coach too much.  Through shared reading experiences, book recommendations, and other exposures to good literature, I know I need to trust in the process.  Just the other day, one of my Wimpy Kid "regulars" picked up a new book from the library.  I was no doubt thrilled, as this is literally the first time I've seen him choose anything other than that to read (Side note: I don't have anything against this series; I just want to provide a rich reading experience for my students, and reading that series throughout the year won't give that to them).

Thinking on this, I realize that what I do every day in the classroom is powerful in helping these students to see, day by day, the power of a variety of texts by different authors in different genres.  They may not choose new books, or read widely in different authors right away, but as they are exposed to it in different ways, over time, perhaps they will. Perhaps a friend will recommend a new book to them.  Perhaps a librarian can entice them with a different book.  Perhaps a parent will share great titles, or show them books they have read in the past. 

I never know exactly what will guide my students toward richer reading experiences, but if I trust in the process, I can be reassured that it is the right path.  If I am exposing them to great titles, reading aloud every day, promoting the love of reading with daily independent reading, guiding success by setting goals, setting expectations for books, and generally setting the tone of reading being an amazing thing that changes lives, then I am on the right path. 

Trust the process.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this reflection, Melanie. I think you're right about the modeling and the relationships helping to guide reading choices. I'm a pretty wide reader now, but I used to have certain genres that I wouldn't even consider. Really what changed my mind was people I knew and respected who recommended good books that weren't what I would normally pick up. But, that takes time. Thanks for prompting my own reflection on this.